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Country Risk

Japanese, Russian leaders’ likely discussion of peace treaty unlikely to resolve disagreement over development of disputed territories

29 November 2018

Event

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, 30 November–1 December, in Argentina.

This follows Putin proposing in September 2018 that the two countries sign a treaty by the end of the year and a 14 November 2018 meeting at which the two leaders agreed to “accelerate negotiations” towards a peace treaty based on the 1956 joint declaration. The declaration stated that the Soviet Union would “hand over to Japan the Habomai and Shikotan Islands”. Although Japan subsequently called for Russia also to return the two other South Kuril Islands, importantly, in November 2018, Abe softened this stance, indicating that Japan would initially accept the return of only Habomai and Shikotan to achieve a peace treaty.

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